Assessing English Widening Participation Policy (2016-2021): Trends, Devolution, and Collaborative Partnerships

Allison, Jordan ORCID: 0000-0001-8513-4646 and Clarke, Dan ORCID: 0000-0001-7277-2825 (2024) Assessing English Widening Participation Policy (2016-2021): Trends, Devolution, and Collaborative Partnerships. Practice: Contemporary Issues in Practitioner Education. doi:10.1080/25783858.2024.2372263 (In Press)

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This paper analyses recent trends in English Widening Participation (WP) policy over a six-year period from the introduction of the Higher Education and Research Bill and the formation of the Office for Students, up to the completion of Phase 2 of the Uni Connect project. It will draw upon the history of WP policy in England especially the 1997 Dearing Report to assess whether recent policy measures have come closer to addressing the omnipresent inequality that is present within higher education. The paper will follow the journey of WP policy as it moves through a process of devolution into collaborative partnerships. This period can be defined by the planning and execution of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) and this paper will consider the efficacy of this programme within its immediate policy context. The authors will explore the successes and shortcomings of the policies that define this period and whether the developments discussed have brought England closer to the vision of participation set out by Dearing and by the needs of the contemporary context. It is concluded that the redirection of resources from WP to recruitment diminishes intervention effectiveness, thereby perpetuating inequality. Therefore, clearer WP strategies are required involving broader partnerships to counter market forces and ensure sustainable impact.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Widening participation; Social mobility; National collaborative outreach program; Higher education; Inequality
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Society and Learning
Depositing User: Kamila Niekoraniec
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2024 14:16
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2024 14:16

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